To be eligible for compensation, a person must be a victim of a qualifying crime involving physical injury, threat of physical injury or death. For certain crimes, emotional injury alone is enough to qualify. Certain family members and loved ones who suffer an economic loss from an injury to, or death of, a victim of a crime may also be eligible for compensation.
The Victim Compensation Board (CalVCB) can help victims and family members of victims of crimes such as:
- Domestic violence
- Child abuse
- Sexual assault
- Elder abuse
- Hate crimes
- Drunk driving
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Human trafficking
- Online harassment
In addition to being the victim of a qualifying violent crime, applicants must also:
- Be either a resident of California or the victim of a crime that happened in California. Learn more in our FAQ.
- Report the crime to the police, sheriff, child protective services, or some other law enforcement agency (some exceptions may apply).
- In most cases, apply to CalVCB within three years of the time the crime happened. Learn more in our FAQ.
- Generally, cooperate with law enforcement during the investigation and prosecution of the crime.
- Not have been involved in or committed a felony in the events leading to the crime.
- Cooperate with CalVCB by providing the information needed to review the application.
Child Witnesses to Violent Crime
Minors who suffer emotional injuries from witnessing a violent crime may be eligible for up to $5,000 for mental health counseling through CalVCB. A law that went into effect in 2009 allows the minor witness to be eligible for assistance even if he or she is unrelated to the crime victim. To qualify, the minor witness must have been in close proximity to the crime.